Virginia Tech Keeps Rolling in March Madness, Tops Tennessee
SEATTLE (AP) — Georgia Amoore scored a career-high 29 points and top-seeded Virginia Tech advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time in school history with a 73-64 win over No. 4 seed Tennessee on Saturday.
The Hokies (30-4) won their 14th straight game overall and advanced to a matchup with No. 3 seed Ohio State in the Seattle 3 Regional final on Monday night. Ohio State topped UConn in the first semifinal, ending the Huskies’ streak of 14 straight Final Four appearances.
Amoore and the Hokies used a dominant stretch spanning the end of the second quarter and beginning of the third that built enough of a cushion to hold off Tennessee’s valiant rally over the final 12 minutes.
Amoore attempted 19 3-pointers in the Hokies’ second-round win, but shot only 14 this time around.
Kayana Traylor added 14 points and Elizabeth Kitley scored 12 points despite sitting a big chunk of the first half with foul trouble. The ACC Tournament champions had reached the Sweet 16 only once previously in school history and are now one win away from the Final Four.
Jordan Horston led Tennessee (25-12) with 17 points. Rickea Jackson scored 15 and Jordan Walker added 12.
The Lady Vols reached the regional semifinals for the second straight season, but haven’t been to the Elite Eight since 2016. And it was their offense that was so impressive in the first two rounds that disappeared against the Hokies.
The Lady Vols scored 95 points in their first-round win over Saint Louis and followed up with 94 in an impressive blowout of Toledo. But Tennessee relied too much on perimeter shots early on, to the point coach Kellie Harper yelled at her team “who are we?” after attempting his 12th 3-pointer of the first half.
Tennessee made just 3 of 17 attempts from beyond the arc against the Hokies after making 11 of 22 in the win over Toledo.
The Hokies closed the first half with a flourish, scoring the final eight points to take a 35–22 lead at the break. Amoore started the second half with her fourth 3-pointer of the game and Kitley scored on the interior and quickly a five-point game ballooned to a 40–22 Virginia Tech lead.
Tennessee trimmed the deficit to nine by the end of the third quarter and its surge continued into the fourth quarter. Tennessee capped the 19–4 run with Jasmine Powell’s 3-pointer with 6:05 left and pulled ahead 53–52.
But turnovers and fouls began to mount and the Lady Vols and Virginia Tech pushed their lead back to 11 on Amoore’s jumper with 2:10 remaining.
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